- Great performance for the price, DiG!C II colour quality
- The MV800i records stills to tape only
The Canon MV800i series of MiniDV cameras offer fantastic features and quality for the price. If you also want to take the occasional still image photo and take video using a remote control, the MV830i is the best value of the three.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
More than 20 percent lighter than the Canon MV300i series, models in the MV800i series nonetheless pack more features than their predecessors. The three video cameras in the range share the same compact dimensions (53 x 91 x 130mm) and light weight (430 grams for the body), making them perfectly sized for travel video or even teenagers getting starting with video.
Cameras in the MV800i series won't intimidate beginners at video photography. The Easy button performs exactly as the name implies, attempting to make all of the decisions, leaving you to simply point and shoot the scene. Once you become a little more experienced, a range of creative features are at your disposal to alter the exposure and white balance.
The MV800i series cameras sit comfortably in the right hand, with the zoom, record, photo and exposure controls within easy reach of the index finger and thumb. There is a series of buttons on the left-hand side of the cameras with more extensive menu and playback controls. These are located behind a fold-out 2.4" LCD viewfinder, which is a big improvement over the MV300i's tiny 1.8" screen. An optical viewfinder with dioptric adjustment provides a good viewing option when conditions become too bright. You can pull the optical viewfinder straight out, but you can't adjust it vertically.
The 20X optical zoom lens on the MV800i and MV830i is fast and allows you to get close to the action without intruding on a scene. The MV850i has a slightly larger optical zoom, at 22X, which may appeal to those wanting to get that little bit closer to a scene.
The electronics are the same throughout the range, and Canon's DiG!C II processor allows you to focus quickly and accurately on a scene. Colour was vibrant, with reds and greens extremely bright and saturated. Low-light performance was reasonable, with good quality in most daylight situations. A night mode is also available.
A FireWire (or IEEE 1394) cable is used to transfer DV quality files. If you want to work with Web-quality motion JPEG video via a USB 2.0 connection, you need to choose either the MV830i or MV850i. There is no S-Video connection on the MV800i, but you do get an AV plug allowing stereo audio and composite video input and output. A tripod is always a handy tool when travelling, particularly if you want to be part of the action, and the MV800i series allows you to comfortably access all the relevant controls either directly while using a tripod or, when using the MV830i or MV850i, with a supplied remote control. Remote videoing is not an option with the MV800i as it lacks wireless remote capabilities.
The MV830i and MV850i allow you to capture digital still images to a removable SD memory card at 1024 x 768 pixel resolution, also known as XGA resolution, which is just enough for a good quality 4" x 6" print. However, many other camcorders priced at less than $1000 offer two megapixel resolution, which allows you to comfortably print photos at 5" x 7".
On balance, the best option for performance, value and the occasional digital still photo is the MV830i. At less than $800 at the time of writing, it offers a lot of useful features not available on the MV800i, and represents one of the best options for new video photographers who want Canon quality and performance.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 3 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 4 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 5 MSI GS70 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- AT&T will acquire Time Warner for US$85.4b in content play
- Facebook adds Apple TV and Chromecast support as video push ramps up
- Remocam review: This security camera can control your home appliances
- Logitech's C922 webcam is the revered C920's vastly upgraded successor
- FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- TV of the year award 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCTest Manager - Data Warehouse experienceACT
- CCHadoop DeveloperVIC
- TPFront End DeveloperNSW
- FTSAP Finance Consultant (Consolidations)ACT
- CCBusiness Analyst - Reporting, Excel and AutoCAD experienceNSW
- FTAngular DeveloperSA
- TPData CoordinatorVIC
- CCSenior Security AnalystACT
- FTPortal Project ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Project AnalystNSW
- CCConsumer Social Specialist / Campaign Manager (Digital)VIC
- CCSenior Change Manager - Financial ServicesNSW
- TPProject Manager | Sunshine Coast Location - Sea Change?QLD
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Telco - Melbourne CBDVIC
- TPMid Level Frontend DeveloperNSW
- FTICT Business Liaison ManagerSA
- FTEnterprise Account ManagerACT
- FTChief Security Officer l CISSP l ISO27001NSW
- CCWeb Services Tester- Test AnalystNSW
- CCJDE ERP Technical ConsultantVIC
- CCSenior Automation TesterSA
- CCAPI DeveloperNSW
- TPIT Project CoordinatorVIC
- CCTest Manager (HP Quality Centre / Kronos)ACT
- FTSenior Project CoordinatorNSW